How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

During the hottest months of summer, you will want to stay cool and comfortable in your home. This doesn’t have to come at a high price, however. The largest energy expense typically comes from your heating and cooling bills. There are ways that you can minimize these bills so that the expense is not costing you significantly just to stay comfortable and cool.  We’ll walk you through ways that you can check your home for any air leaks that could be costing you extra unnecessary money and energy.

How To Test for Air Leaks

  • First, check the windows and doors in your home to make sure there aren’t any that are cracked open.
  • Next, evaluate the weather stripping. If you have deteriorating weather stripping in your home, peel it away and make sure to clean the surface so that it’s ready for new weather stripping. It’s time to apply new weather stripping (that’s waterproof) to the doors and windows in your home.
  • Seal the Air Ducts in your home with mastic sealant.
  • Perform a test for air leaks by using thin toilet paper or an incense stick. Hold it next to your doors, utility connections, windows or ceiling fixtures to check if there’s an air leak. When you perform this test, turn off the air conditioning system so that the air is still. If the thin toilet paper or the smoke begins to move at all when you hold it up, that means there’s an air leak.
  • Check the flue of your fireplace when checking for air leaks as well. The flue should create a tight seal when it’s not being used and most people don’t think about how much air comes in and out through your fireplace!
  • Also, check the outlets in your home. It may be a good idea to purchase foam gaskets to seal the air leaks so that air is not escaping through the outlets.

Other things to remember:

  • The door sweeps in your home should be checked and replaced if necessary. When shopping for new door sweeps, look for the permanent pliable rubber sealants. These are a sturdy option compared to the self-adhesive type of door sweep.
  • Moving to the outside of the home, check the full perimeter for any gaps that you may find. If the gaps are larger than ¼ inch, you can spray them with expandable foam spray to fill in the gaps.

These are all ways that can help seal up the leaks in your home so that precious air and heat doesn’t escape. While you may be able to do some of these yourself, it’s always best to call a professional to handle the task of making sure that your whole home is properly sealed. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to inspect your duct work to test for any leaks.  If it was installed improperly, if the duct work is old, or if there’s corrosion, these could all contribute to leaks in the duct work.  Interested in learning more about how we can take of your whole house with our Whole House program?

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Have you checked your Exhaust Fans Lately?

Out of all the home appliances and items to maintain, you may not give much thought to a bathroom exhaust fan. They should be on your list, however, because they serve as a home necessity. The purpose of having an exhaust fan is to eliminate any moisture from the bathrooms in your home. Not only does it help control the moisture levels, but it also removes any odors. What many people don’t know is that exhaust fans reduce the fumes that are released from cleaning agents. So they help as a safety measure to eliminate health-related issues from cleaning agents.

We’ll review some the benefits that an exhaust fan provides below:

  • Exhaust fans serve the purpose of eliminating orders in the bathroom. The exhaust fan works to draw out the odors because of the ventilation system within the exhaust fan.
  • Exhaust fans reduce airborne contaminants. Cleaning chemicals used in bathrooms typically have aggressive chemicals that are potentially problematic for health if they are inhaled. The cleaning chemicals can be especially dangerous for young children or anyone with lung conditions. If bathrooms have mold, the exhaust fan works to remove the spores buildup in the air, which slows down the growth rate of the mold.
  • They work to reduce foggy mirrors. The exhaust fans control the moisture levels in the bathrooms. They remove the water vapor that builds up on the walls and mirrors.
  • They reduce the humidity in the bathrooms which can cause serious problems. An excessive amount of humidity in bathrooms can potentially cause doors to warp or paint to peel. What’s worse is that too much humidity can cause mold in your bathrooms to accumulate over time. If left unaddressed, the mold spores can grow at a rapid pace, and they’re not easy to eliminate.

If you’re in need of a new exhaust van, we have some general recommendations that help you know what to look for. The best exhaust fans will remove moisture and odors and also be quiet. There are additional guidelines and a formula that allows you to determine which size fan is best for your bathroom.

The Home Ventilating Institute explains that ventilation rates should be based upon eight air changes every hour. The air movememt is generally measured by an acronym CFM (which stands for cubic feet per minute). What you’ll need to know for the formula is that bathrooms between 50-100 square feet have 1 CFM  per square foot of floor space. If your bathroom is smaller than 50 square feet, it’s 50 CFM. For bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, you’ll have to take into consideration each bathroom fixture that will need ventilation as well. Add on 50 CFM per bathroom fixture. Because the average bathroom size is between 50-100 square feet, the average fan will be rated between 50-110 CFM.

Did you know that cleaning your air conditioning on a regular basis will also help with noise reduction in your exhaust fans? Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical  to provide routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit! We can also check all your ventilation systems while we’re there. Not only will we make sure that your ventilation systems are running properly, but we can also clean out your air filters so that the air quality in your entire home will be clean and comfortable for your family to enjoy daily living!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

Why You Should be Using a Humidifier

Now that summer months are in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start considering how your home environment could  affect your health. There have been significant advancements with heating and cooling options over the past several years, so it’s time to reap the full benefits of those advancements! Long gone are the days where thermostats where limited to a dial that you had to change to set the temperature.

You might want to consider utilizing a Humidifier in Your Home and here’s why: 

  • They increase comfort levels in your home. Humidifiers produce moisture in the air, which will enable you to rest well with a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • They help alleviate wintertime sickness.  The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. With a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.
  • The air will feel more comfortable and also warmer, which means that you can turn down your thermostat in the winter and save some extra money!
  • Moisture in the air from a Humidifier can ease dry skin, dry sinuses and even cracked lips caused by dry air!

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of a humidifier, here are some important considerations as to how to use one:

  • Many humidifiers will measure the humidity level in a room. The optimal level should be 30 percent when it’s cold and 50 percent when it’s hot outside.
  • There are different humidifier options that are beneficial for each type of room in your home. It’s common for homeowners to have a humidifier in multiple rooms of their home.
  • Smaller humidifiers are beneficial for smaller rooms, especially children’s rooms. It’s best to stick with a cool mist humidifier, since it eliminates the chance of children getting burned by a warm mist humidifier.
  • There are console and whole home humidifiers that may be beneficial for larger rooms in the home.
  • If noise is an important consideration for you, there are ultrasonic humidifiers which create the quietest atmosphere.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing today to review your heating and cooling systems.  We can address any areas of concern and how well your systems are working.

Give us a call today. Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010 or fill out our contact form.

The "Change Filter" Light is Flashing: What Now?

You look up and see a blinking light on your thermostat, “CHANGE FILTER.” Don’t ignore it! These filters protect your indoor air quality, meaning, they keep you and your family healthy! And by keeping them clean, it will save you money on heating and air conditioning in the long run. 

How to Change Your Air Filter

So do you call a professional or start looking up DIY YouTube videos? According to the professionals, if your filter is accessible and you feel comfortable getting to it, you can check to see its condition. The filter looks like a large windowpane. And you should replace it with the same size you already have. However, there’s no need to stick with a certain brand as long as the filter fits correctly. It goes in the same way the old filter was removed and it should be a snug fit. You can also use a permanent marker or pen to write the install date on your new air filter. That way, you won’t have any questions about when you need a new one the next time.

You should change out the standard 1″ wire media air filter every month depending on your lifestyle, especially if you have pets. But there are other types of media air filters that are thicker and take out a higher percentage of dust and contaminants. These filters usually have a longer service life. There are also electric air filters that electronically zap the contaminants and sterilizes the dust mites that survive in climates with relative humidity over 50%.

Benefits of Changing Air Filters:

  • Extends the life of your unit- systems can overheat if air filters aren’t clear and clean which can shut down your entire unit!
  • Keeps Energy Costs Down- if your filter is clean, your unit doesn’t have to work as hard, using less energy to heat and cool your home!
  • Keeps Pet Dander and Allergens at bay- keep your air cleaner by getting rid of unwanted pollutants!
  • Keeps your system clean- don’t let unwanted dirt, dander and other things clog up your system which can cost more in repairs!

When shopping, look at the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number, which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration is.  If your filter is in an area where you’re not comfortable reaching it yourself, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning. They will check it out for you and replace it if needed. To schedule an appointment, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 800-461-3010 or request a repair.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

People are often looking for more ways to save money.  Even a few extra dollars of savings a month can accumulate and make a difference. Have you looked into all the areas you could be saving more? Maybe you’ve committed to tuning up your AC unit on a regular basis. This is an important aspect of long term energy savings. But have you considered the thermostat you’re using?

There are a few primary benefits to using a programmable thermostat:

Saves time – Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat for the time of day and the different seasons, consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust based on how you preset it! It can become quite a hassle to constantly adjust the temperature during the day, before bed, right when you wake up or when the seasons change.  By setting the temperature up front, you save time and hassle.

Saves money – With energy bills on the rise, a programmable thermostat is even more beneficial because of how much energy it will save, which translates into money saving. There’s the potential to save up to 2% for every degree you lower or increase your setting. You can adjust the settings to turn off the AC when you are gone, then turn on when you get home, so you’ll also be saving money here as well.

Adjusts to zoned heating and cooling areas – It’s already beneficial to have zones of your home that you can heat and cool according to preferences and use of that space. It’s even more beneficial for these zones to be preset, which allows every square foot of your home to be completely customized with temperature settings.

Maintains a consistent temperature – Instead of fluctuating between too hot or too cold, a programmable thermostat allows you to set and maintain the perfect temperature. It also prevents those spots in your home that can be hot or cold spots.

If you haven’t had a chance start routine maintenance for your heating and cooling systems, don’t worry – it’s not too late! The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, the cost to fix it will be significant. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and check your unit to ensure that it’s running efficiently, and we can continue to provide routine maintenance. We can also install and set your programmable thermostat as well!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

Let Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical help babyproof your home!

Did you know we could help keep your children and family safe?  We can even help babyproof your home!

Whether you’re a first-time parent or it’s been a few years since you’ve done the baby thing, or you’re a caregiver getting ready for a new addition to your home, you’ll start looking at your house—and all of its dangers—differently. What are the basics of babyproofing? First, think ahead. While your 6 month old may not be able to get to much, your 2 year old will. And we can even help with some of these to give you extra peace of mind!

Tips to Keeping Babies and Young Children Safe In Your Home:

  • Plug all unused electrical outlets with safety covers and move all exposed wires out of reach. This will take some creativity—perhaps you’ll need to move furniture around or go ahead and mount that TV like you’ve talked about for so long! You’ll also want to make sure there are no exposed wires anywhere in or around your home!
  • Move tall lamps behind sturdy furniture such as a couch, or consider getting rid of these lamps altogether.
  • Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure you have enough. There should be one smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level of the house, and one carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house. We are happy to help install these!  And remember that these need to be checked every few months to make sure they are in working condition!
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s locked up or place a sturdy screen around the hearth. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas line isn’t leaking!  Again, give us a call if you have any concerns!
  • Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in any other areas where you want to keep them out. Think ahead—getting taller gates with high quality latches/locks will save you from going out and buying new gates when your baby is 18 months old.
  • Remove blinds with looped cords and keep curtains and blinds out of babies and toddlers’ reach.
  • Anchor heavy furniture such as dressers to the wall.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners and install locks on the refrigerator, appliances and cabinets you don’t want your little one getting into. Don’t forget the toilets, or you could end up with a pretty big project when they flush their toys down the toilet!

 

Let us help keep your little ones safe!  Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! With our Whole House Agreement, we can service your heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical!  We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Are You Using the Right Lighting in Your Home?

Home Lighting

Our homes are where we often spend majority of our time. The lighting we use should be fulfilling the purpose, function or feel that want in each room. Lighting may not be something that you’ve given much thought to, but it powerfully impacts everything you do, whether you realize it or not. Lighting can make you feel awake and alert, or it can put you in a relaxed and calm mood. We’ll cover the different functions of lighting, and how they correspond with the purpose of each room in your home.

  • General/Ambient Lighting is typically considered as the room’s natural light and works to light up the whole room. Various forms of lighting can be categorized as ambient lighting, such as a pendant light, track lighting or a chandelier.
  • AccentLighting Is there something in a specific room that you’d like to draw attention to and highlight? Maybe it’s a special painting or a bookshelf. Accent lighting will highlight the specific piece or part of the room that you want to focus on.
  • Task Lighting – as the name suggests, task lighting serves a purpose to help you stay focused an accomplish something, whether it’s reading a book or working on a project.Instead of creating a warm ambiance, it does quite the opposite by providing brighter light to ensure you stay awake and focused.

 

As you keep in mind the mood and purpose for each room in your home, you’ll be able to determine which kind of light will optimize the purpose for each room. Below is a general guideline for the lighting that is best to include in each room:

 

  • Kitchen: Combine the use of task lighting and general lighting. The kitchen is often the heart of the home, so you’ll want to provide general lighting that will brighten the space where people often gather. Inlcude some task lighting in the form of track lighting under the countertops so that you’ll have extra visibility to any cooking you need to do on the counters.
  • Living Room: Another common gathering area that will require general lighting in the form of a ceiling light. Add a couple lamps in the corners for those times when you want to create a warmer ambiance.
  • Bathroom: Select lighting that will accurately show skin tone color – this is the room where you get ready, so the lighting should be accurate for getting ready and applying makeup.
  • Bedroom: This is the room in your home that should avoid task lighting. The room where you sleep should be filled with warm lighting that will put you in a relaxed and ready state for bed.

 

While you’re looking for energy efficiency in lighting, why stop there? Let us check your electrical outlets and components to make sure your home is safe.  Also, make sure your whole home is efficient by scheduling a cooling maintenance! Among the many services we offer, we can install a Power Attic Ventilator to reduce air conditioning costs by forcing very hot air trapped in the attic and replace it with cooler air outside. Your unit will run less during the hot summer days, which will result in energy savings for you! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Bathroom Ventilation Fans

 

Long showers feel fantastic—but they aren’t so great for your home. The humidity can breed mold and mildew, which is not only a health hazard, but also bad for your building materials. Ventilation fans can help remove moisture, mold spores and odor from your bathrooms. Nowadays they are “smart” and efficient. What should you look for?

Think about where the air will go. Bathroom ventilation fans often exhaust air in between ceiling joists or into an attic, which brings the moisture into closed spaces where mold can breed. Instead, connect your bathroom exhaust fan to vent ducts that exhaust the air outside your house. If you’re concerned the fan will take the heated air out of your house, install a heat-exchange ventilator fan. Keep in mind that these are more expensive.

Measure your bathroom’s floor space. The air flow capacities of bathroom ventilation fans are measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The Home Ventilating Institute says that your fan should have 1 cfm for every square foot of floor space.

Are you bothered by loud noise? Have a sleeping child or spouse? Fan noise is rated by sones. A rating of 0.5 to 1.2 sones means the fan is very quiet, 1.5 to 2.0 sones is a good middle range, and above 4.0 sones means noisy.

Of course these days there are “smart” options. Motion sensor activation turns on the fan when someone enters the room. Fan speed can be pre-set to remove the moisture of smaller tasks like shaving. Some offer a night light to help you in the dark. Humidity sensing fans automatically switch on when they detect high levels of humidity. Some even have built-in heaters.

Another modern luxury—energy efficient ventilation fans, which use about 60 percent less energy than standard fans.

Be prepared to spend between $90 and $400 for a new ventilation fan, and more if you get a professional installation.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Tips For Cooling Down Homes This Summer

With June, July and August come some very hot rooms in the house—particularly those upstairs. Sure, you could blast the air conditioning, but that can lead to cold rooms downstairs and very high electric bills! So what can you do instead? Check out these tips for cooling down homes during these hot months.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing and Electrical Cooling Down Homes TipsFirst, circulate the air efficiently. Ceiling fans upstairs can help with circulation as well as cool you off when you’re using those rooms. Remember to turn them off when not in use to save electricity.

Second, limit the heat that comes into your house in the first place. Thermal blocking drapes can make a big difference when windows are in direct sunlight. Furthermore, they can help if you want darkness to sleep during daylight hours, which is great for those with babies or who work night shifts.

Third, open your windows on those cool nights to let that air inside your home and cool you off. There’s no better way to enjoy the summer air!

Also, check your attic and basement for leaks and add weather stripping around windows and doors. This can help reduce the amount of air leaving your house. Also, remember to change your filters in your HVAC system at least once every few months. If you have allergies, asthma, or pets in your home, you may want to consider changing them as often as once a month. (This not only helps clean your air—it helps your system run more efficiently.)

Last but not least, get a professional to inspect your system to see if there is anything else you can change. This should be done a few times a year.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Why Have Your HVAC Checked?

 

We are all counting pennies these days. And while it’s tempting to let things like HVAC check-ups slide, those inspections can be critical to preventing bigger problems with larger dollar amounts attached to them. Experts recommend having your HVAC system inspected twice a year, just as you test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

DSC04885Why get the inspections done at these particular times of the year? Simply because it’s best to check things out before seasons that you’ll be using your HVAC heavily — such as mid-summer and mid-winter. Having the inspection done every spring and fall will help keep everything in working order and prevent you from spending more in the long run.

Another benefit to having your HVAC cleaned regularly is monthly electric bill savings. According to the Department of Energy, about 25-40 percent of heating and cooling is wasted in a home. And if a system is dirty, the problem is exacerbated so the system has to work even harder, wasting more of your hard-earned cash.

Seasonal cleanings and check-ups also ensure your indoor air will be cleaner and better for you to breathe. Especially during winter months, when we are inside for longer periods of time, this is important. For those family members or house guests with allergies or asthma, fewer pollutants mean fewer problems.

So you’ve scheduled your HVAC maintenance? What now? When your technician is on site for the inspection, take note of what they’re doing. Good technicians will not only replace your filter, they’ll check on the evaporator coils, ducts, and wiring, as well as your thermostat, among other things. So take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and observe to learn as much as you can about your home’s HVAC system.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!